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This 5D imaging technology can digitally scan living tissue

Researchers from USC Dornsife and USC Viterbi School of Engineering have developed new technology that allows for 5D imaging of animals and human beings.

According to the developers, Francesco Cutrale, Prof. Scott Fraser and the late Prof. Elizabeth Garrett, their implementation of 5D imaging — dubbed Hyper-Spectral Phasor analysis (HySP) — is cheaper, faster and more accurate than other imaging methods available.

5D imaging technology is useful in detecting important biological molecules, especially signs of disease, being crucial to understanding how diseases interact within a living organism. The HySP uses fluorescent imaging to locate proteins as well as other molecules situated in cells and tissue.

HySP is now able to capture and render 5D imaging of molecules within living beings

Using a dye which glows under the skin under certain types of light to tag molecules, HySP is able to pick up specific clusters of diseased cells or tissue. This would make it easier for medical professionals to diagnose and administer targetted treatments.

“Biological research is moving toward complex systems that extend across multiple dimensions, the interaction of multiple elements over time,” said Cutrale in a blog post.

Using a Zebrafish to test and develop HySP, researchers were able to successfully capture a 5D rendering of the molecules within the fish’s cells and tissue. However, this type of imaging in its testing phase cannot work on humans. This is because to find and target specific cells within the human body, they’d have to calibrate markers to target specific cells in specific areas.

“By looking at multiple targets, or watching targets move over time, we can get a much better view of what’s actually happening within complex living systems. Imagine looking at 18 targets, We can do that all at once, rather than having to perform 18 separate experiments and trying to combine them later,” he continued.